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Grant Olan

President Barack Obama’s 2015 budget, released Tuesday, March 4, came and went without much notice outside the Washington, DC, beltway. The president’s annual budget, usually released in February, is an important public statement of what he believes national funding priorities should be and is generally used as a starting point for budget negotiations in Congress. However, it is unlikely Congress will adopt many of the president’s recommendations owing to the late date of the report’s release and that 2014 is an election year.

Let’s look at the numbers. For 2015, the president is recommending $30.4 billion for the National Institutes

Grant Olan

On Wednesday, April 9, ASN President Sharon M. Moe, MD, FASN, testified before the House Science, Space, and Technology Committee’s Subcommittee on Research and Technology about the long overdue need for more innovation in kidney care.

Dr. Moe voiced support for federal prize competitions as a mechanism to spur scientific and technological breakthroughs to improve kidney care and keep people off of dialysis, which, Dr. Moe testified, could result in significant savings to Medicare.

Inspired by the success of private and philanthropic sector prize competitions, the 2010 America COMPETES Act granted broad authority to federal agencies to use prizes to

Grant Olan

On September 19, 2014, ASN Secretary-Treasurer and Research Advocacy Committee Chair John R. Sedor, MD, FASN, joined other members of the committee and several of the society’s advisory groups to visit the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) for “Kidney Research Advocacy Day.”

ASN began annual visits to NIH in 2012 to raise the profile of kidney disease, promote more kidney-related research, and encourage more cross-institute collaboration. This year, Kidney Research Advocacy Day participants met with leaders of the National Heart Lung and Blood Institute (NHLBI), National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases

Grant Olan

At the tail end of one of the least productive years in congressional history, Congress managed to pass a bipartisan budget deal for 2014 that President Barack Obama signed into law on January 17. The deal capped a long year of budget showdowns, including the 16-day government shutdown in October. Like most federal budgets, there is both good and bad news: the deal reinstated some funding—but not all—to budget cuts in 2014.

The 2014 budget includes $29.9 billion for the National Institutes of Health (NIH)—a $1 billion increase over 2013. But before jumping with joy, keep in mind that the

Grant Olan

Congressional action on a budget deal in the final days of 2013 means that things are looking up somewhat heading into 2014. On December 10, 2013, U.S. House and Senate budget negotiators reached a deal that may reverse some federal budget cuts in 2014 and 2015. The deal raises budget caps that were established by Congress as part of its deficit reduction efforts in the Budget Control Act of 2011 (Table 1).

If the deal is approved by Congress—which as of press time looks likely—appropriations for both defense and non-defense discretionary (NDD) appropriations would increase from the caps.

Grant Olan

U.S. Congressional Kidney Caucus Co-Chair Rep. Tom Marino (R-PA) recently requested a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report to review the state of federal investments in kidney research. Obtaining a congressional request for a GAO report on this topic is the cornerstone of ASN’s aggressive new Research Advocacy Strategic Plan to bolster support for more federal kidney research funding.

In addition to assessing the adequacy of investments in kidney research compared to the cost of kidney care, Rep. Marino asked the GAO to identify areas of kidney disease knowledge gaps, as well as recent scientific advances that are most likely to

Grant Olan

While the National Institutes of Health (NIH) is still sorting out how to divvy up its funding for fiscal year (FY) 2012, Congress is knee deep in the budget process for FY 2013. In February, the Obama administration released the president’s budget for 2013. It includes $71.7 billion for the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), an 8.5 percent cut from FY 2012. To put that number in perspective, in 2010, HHS’s budget was $84.4 billion. HHS’s budget includes funding for many different agencies, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the Centers for Medicare &

Grant Olan

Having access to nationally representative data for one routine lab test—creatinine levels—could help researchers better understand and slow the progression of kidney disease that affects up to 26 million Americans. Recently, ASN urged the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) National Center for Health Statistics to add patients’ serum creatinine levels to the list of laboratory data the center collects in the National Ambulatory Medical Care Survey (NAMCS).

NAMCS gathers information on patients, providers, and visit characteristics from community health centers and non–federally employed office-based physicians who are primarily engaged in direct patient care. Physicians representing approximately 15 major

Grant Olan

ASN Research Advocacy Committee Chair John Sedor, MD, discusses the positive connection between research and the US economy.

Griffin P. Rodgers, MD, MACP, director, National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (NIDDK) said that more than 80 percent of NIH funding supports research around the country and described past NIDDK research that has led to improvements in patient care.

On Tuesday, June 19, ASN co-sponsored a congressional briefing on the importance of kidney disease research with the American Society of Pediatric Nephrology (ASPN), the American Kidney Fund (AKF), and honorary co-sponsor, the Congressional Kidney Caucus.

Congressional Kidney Caucus

Grant Olan

ASN President-Elect Bruce A. Molitoris, MD, FASN, and ASN Research Advocacy Committee (RAC) members (see Table 1) participated in the society’s first-ever “NIH Advocacy Day” on Wednesday, June 20. The goal of NIH Advocacy Day was to advance the profile of kidney disease research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) beyond NIDDK and encourage other institutes to dedicate resources to studying kidney disease where relevant to their mission.

NIH’s 27 institutes and centers (ICs) are engaged in global health research and research training activities. Most kidney disease research is funded by the National Institute of Diabetes and